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Digital Subscriptions > DIVA Magazine > October 2018 > EMPIRE state of mind

EMPIRE state of mind

DIVA EXPLORES NEW YORK’S QUEER NIGHTLIFE, VINTAGE SHOPS AND ROOFTOP BARS

NEW YORK

WORDS ROXY BOURDILLON, PHOTOS CREATIVE COMMONS, DYLAN CROSS/DRAGONFLY IMAGE PARTNERS, WARREN JAGGER

I have longed to go to New York ever since I was a little girl. And as thrilled as I am to finally be voyaging to the city of my gaydreams, all those years spent furiously fantasising mean it’s attained an almost mythical status in my head. In my mind at least, I’m the lezzier, chubbier, real-life Carrie Bradshaw – a shopaholic writer with an untameable mane and an embarrassingly enormous collection of vertiginous heels. I’ve been imagining strutting through Central Park, skinny latte and designer shopping bags in tow, for as long as I can remember. In fact, I’m so mad about Manhattan and bonkers for Yonkers that, just before my plane lands at JFK, I experience a momentary wobble. What if NYC doesn’t live up to my idealised, Hollywoodified version of it? Can it really be as exhilarating as I’ve built it up to be? The answer is a resounding hell yes. As it turns out, New York is, as advertised, absofucking- lutely fabulous.

For the first two days of my trip I’m a lone traveller, but in the words of Ms Bradshaw, “the city is my date”. And my god, do we have chemistry! First stop? Times Square, baby. Yes, I am that predictable. No, I am not in the slightest bit sorry. It’s a sensory overload. Gargantuan billboards for Broadway shows compete for my attention with nearly nude street performers with stars and stripes painted on their boobs and bums. (Or should that be butts? After all, I’m a New Yorker now!) Above me tower 60-foot tall adverts for Orange Is The New Black. Suzanne and Gloria are on a video loop, goofing for the camera in their prison-issue PJs. I smile to myself at this epic display of queer visibility in one of the most infamous streets in the world. I venture to the top of the tall red steps to drink in all the life and loudness before me.

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About DIVA Magazine

Welcome to this historic issue of DIVA, centring and celebrating game-changing queer women of colour. Guest edited by UK Black Pride director and co-founder Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, who hand-picked our fantastic cover stars, every columnist this month is a woman of colour, and we've made space throughout the magazine for women of colour to tell their own stories in their own words. We hope you enjoy it. Also in this issue… Gabrielle makes our Dreams come true Black Lightning's Nafessa Williams tells DIVA how it feels to be TV's first black lesbian superhero Vida: The new Latinx series we love Zayn Phallic: The drag king with a heart (and hard on) of gold What does it mean to be Muslim and bisexual? Guest editor Phyll Opoku-Gyimah on why Black History Month is decorative Plus news, reviews and much, much more!